Rockford's August housing numbers sustain positive trend

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Rockford is seeing the healthiest housing market since the recession.

"These things are not overnight sensations, they're part of a journey," said Rockford Area Realtors CEO Steve Bois.

Rockford Area Realtors are closing out their year with record-breaking housing numbers. In August alone, 530 homes were sold.

That's the most in more than a decade. That number was only topped by August 2007, when 577 homes were sold.

"It's almost like inventory's flying off the shelves at this point. It's certainly a seller's market. Our price recovery has been phenomenal," said Bois.

This comes as no surprise, realtors say, and is the result of a strong collaboration between area leaders

"We've worked with the mayor's, we've worked with the county chairman, we've worked with the Rockford Economic Development Council," said Bios.

The biggest issue right now is inventory.

"Our taxes continue to go up, and that's what holding us down, and it's frankly keeping new construction out of the market," said President of Dickerson Nieman Realtors Frank Wehrstein.

Though these past few years have meant positive things in the housing market, realtors say they're always preparing for what's ahead, because the next recession could be right around the corner.

"When things are going well, and we've got businesses, manufacturers going into this community, what we need to be doing is trying to sharpen our pencils, keep our focus on taxes, crime, keep improving our schools," said Wehrstein.

"You can look in the rearview mirror and say, well we had people leaving, we have crime, but if you look in the windshield, there's some bright sunshine coming in there," said Bois.

Two other things Bois says helped boost Rockford's growth was the Embry-Riddle campus opening in 2013, and the referendum to modernize area schools.